Scenario one: You are out walking with a boyfriend, near the start of the relationship. You know, that time when you still think you need to impress them with your poise and grace and sophistication. The inevitable happens. You need a wee. You can’t hold it in and so you end up, lacking poise and grace and sophistication, hiding behind a bush, trousers round your ankles, your bum blindingly white in the sun, trying to avoid those nearby stinging nettles and hoping you’ve remembered to bring a tissue with you. If not, a strategic waggle is in order. The good news is, if he’s still with you after this, he’s not going anywhere. But there is another way…
Scenario two: You’re at a music festival. You’re there for five days and, despite daily emptying and the heroic efforts of the cleaning volunteers, the toilets are nasty. Spillages, splashes, stinks, general ickiness. Sitting down is out of the question unless you get to the portaloos just after they’ve been emptied first thing in the morning so you try to perfect a squatting crouch, holding clothes and bags out of the way cos they can’t touch the floor, while still keeping a hand free for the tissue. At some point you will wobble and be sitting in who knows what. But there is another way…
Scenario three: you’re pregnant and for every midwife appointment, including hospital visits, you must bring a sample with you. They give you a small tube in which to carry it. The choice is to wee into a jug from the kitchen and then pour it into the tube (the safest option but of course, despite washing it, you’re just not that happy to use it again) or you can hold your tube beneath you and hope that you can aim your stream into it. Of course you end up with wee all over your hands, a bit in the tube and quite a lot on the label they write on. Bah.
There is another way.
Readers of my previous blog may remember me waxing lyrical about SheWees. Well, I’m still not over it. I have, as you may have guessed, been in all of the above scenarios and the answer lies in a small plastic tube carefully placed to avoid mess. Do I need a picture at this point? Here you go:
The Sheewee is essentially a device that helps a woman pee like a man. Standing up, without much mess and aimed wherever you want. You can wee on walks, in festival toilets, on the Oval cricket pitch, anywhere. It’s revolutionary. No really, it is. It’s liberating in ways you didn’t even know existed. All my pregnancy samples were carefully sent straight into the tube with no spillage, I walk without fear into festival toilets and, if we ever decide to walk in the country again (once E is a bit bigger perhaps and walking confidently) my bag will contain my plastic case and a packet of tissues.
There is a knack to it. The instructions tell you to practice in the shower to get the placing right. That’s fine but I also recommend practicing while you’re wearing clothes (out of the shower obviously). This is because there’s a psychological barrier to overcome. It feels weird to start with – you’re a woman, you’re weeing, you’re standing up and there are clothes. It’s odd. If you practice at home then it’s no problem to change should there be spillage while you get it right. But seriously, once you’re over that, it’s no trouble at all. And you can even get so used to it that you can fit it easily without really looking – especially when there’s a big lump of pregnant belly in the way. In fact by the time I was due, I was mainly peeing standing up as it was easier than having to faff about with clothes, bending down, crouching etc.
Things just got even easier with the addition of the Peebol. I admit I haven’t yet tried this but essentially it’s a bag of special granules that absorb water. So for those moments when you’re lying in your festival tent, it’s five in the morning and pouring with rain, you can get the Peebol out instead of having to pull your wellies and cagoule on over your PJs (or the other option, having to pee in a bottle. There are some things about weeing like a man that feel liberating but going in a bottle isn’t one of them. It’s just nasty.) But what I’m also thinking, planning ahead and that, is that it will be really useful for potty training! How fabulous.
Shewees are issued to female soldiers by NATO. In fact my Sheewee is NATO green in colour. They’re that convenient. You can wee under fire! And, I heard on Radio 4 the other day, that a version of the Shewee was used by Edwardian women because it was easier than going to the loo with their voluminous skirts. You can still buy them (china ones) in antique shops.
Have I convinced you yet? There’s one final thing that a post-birth mother should consider – despite a lot of clenching and zipping to restore your pelvic floor, there will be times when it’s pee or bust. Sitting in traffic jams, the aforementioned country walk or even while waiting for a bus, stick it in your changing bag. Seriously, you’ll thank me one day.
(In the interests of full disclosure I should mention that the lovely folk at SheeWee have asked for bloggers for their product but although they did say they would recompense me for being nice about them, I haven’t written this purely for that reason. I get a bit evangelical about the Sheewee. You’ll understand if you get one. When you get one.)
For more details and to purchase, please go to http://www.shewee.com/